The planning application to regenerate a large part of Cannock town centre has been submitted.
As it is an outline application, at this stage, some of the detail is yet to be confirmed and there may be changes, but it does capture the essence of what Cannock Chase Council is aiming to achieve following its successful application for Levelling Up Fund money from the Government in 2021, which resulted in £20m being awarded to the Council.
In line with that bid, the planning application confirms the Council’s plan to create a vibrant leisure and cultural hub based around the Prince of Wales Theatre on Church Street that would take in the former multi-storey car park owned by the Council and nearby premises.
The proposed scheme also includes plans to create a new Northern Gateway into the town centre, improving the existing connection to Beecroft Road car park and introducing a new café building. The scheme will also deliver improvements to the area’s public realm and creation of new workspace for small businesses and startup companies. The total area to be developed is land bound by the Ringway, Church Street and Market Hall Street in Cannock town centre.
Welcoming this next stage in the town centre’s regeneration, Councillor Mike Sutherland, Portfolio Holder for District and High Street Development said: “The planning application is consistent with our levelling up fund bid. It will strengthen both the day and night time offer in Cannock where we know from our recent surveys that residents would like a safer, more inviting and family friendly town centre where they can spend quality time in and enjoy to the full.
“Leisure and culture are big draws in attracting people to town centres and have a key role to play in regenerating areas that have perhaps become tired and jaded. We certainly have high hopes that will be the case with this scheme.
“Our plans will deliver an exciting new hub area that people will want to spend time in throughout the day with relatives and friends, in addition to coming to the town to shop, bank and access other service functions that already exist.”
To reinforce that change is coming an identity has been produced, using vibrant colours, and begins with the message that `Cannock Town Centre is Changing`. The identity will feature prominently in the town centre as the scheme develops and the wording will adapt as work progresses.
The £20m Levelling Up money has to be committed by the end of March 2025. A great deal of behind the scenes work has been going on and will continue this year before building works and the demolition of the multi-storey car park can begin in 2024.
Updated information on the Cannock Town Centre Levelling Up Fund scheme including helpful frequently asked questions on the overall scheme (including a link to the outline planning application), and the detailed CPO process being followed, can all be found on the homepage of the Council’s website www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk
The initial `Cannock Town Centre is Changing` identity that has been produced to show that change is coming.